HGSCEA at CAA 2021 New York

HGSCEA’s sponsored session
Between Point Zero and the Iron Curtain: International Cooperation in Art, 1945-1948,
Chaired by Eva Forgacs (Art Center College of Design)
Discussion lead by Barbara Jaffee (Northern Illinois University)
Papers by Anna Jozefacka (Hunter College), Lauren Elizabeth Hanson (Harvard Art Museums), Lynette Roth (Harvard Art Museums), and Petra Skarupsky (University of Warsaw)

February 5, 2021

Dear fellow HGSCEANs,

I hope this finds you all as well as one can be in these days.

At a recent meeting on Zoom, the Board considered hosting some sort of virtual happy hour in lieu of our annual dinner and reception in conjunction with remote CAA, but decided that another large remote meeting was the last thing that people would want to attend, and that even if they did there would be no way to approach the buzz of numerous small conversations and the energizing conviviality that we all have when we’re in the same room together. Hence, instead of the usual presidential oration, I’m writing this note to let you know about a few things.

To begin, that recent meeting of the Board was primarily devoted to a discussion of the Emerging Scholars Publication Prize for 2020, the ninth iteration of the competition. As always, the pool of submissions was outstanding, ranging from early medieval to contemporary, from runestones and reliquaries to intarsia and photography, from Scandinavia to Austria and from Poland to Paris. The strength of the publications that were submitted bodes well for the future of the discipline in general, the study of German, Scandinavian, and Central European art, and our affiliated society in particular. At the same time, this wealth of scholarly quality and critical acuity posed yet again a challenge for the Board in its capacity as jury. But, after long deliberation and debate, the Board took a vote to determine the result. I am delighted to report that the winner of this year’s prize is Aleksander Musiał’s (Princeton) article “Mentem mortalia tangent – Fragments and Fetishes in Puławy Landscape Garden (1794-1831),” which appeared in the Oxford Art Journal. An honorable mention was awarded to Jordan Troeller (Universität Graz) for “Lucia Moholy’s Idle Hands,” in October. On behalf of the Board, I wish to congratulate both of these colleagues!

As always, a substantial number of HGSCEA’s members are presenting papers or have organized sessions at this year’s annual conference. HGSCEA’s sponsored session, which was proposed and organized by Eva Forgacs (Art Center College of Design) and is entitled Between Point Zero and the Iron Curtain: International Cooperation in Art, 1945-1948, brings together papers by Anna Jozefacka (Hunter College), Lauren Elizabeth Hanson, Lynette Roth (both Harvard Art Museums), and Petra Skarupsky (University of Warsaw), with a commentary by Barbara Jaffee (Northern Illinois University). Thanks go to the organizers and all of the participants for persevering in the face of uncertainty and concerns about the new process, and for realizing yet another great session. The pre-recorded papers are, or will be, accessible to those who have registered for the conference. The live Q&A with the authors and organizers will take place on the conference site on Friday, February 12, from 12-12:30 p.m. (US, EST).

In addition, the Board will hold its annual business meeting remotely on Zoom on Wednesday, February 10, from 7-8:30 p.m. (US, EST). If you would like to attend the first, public part of the meeting, please send me an email to let me know and I will send you the invitation to the meeting.

Finally, the Board thought it was important to offer HGSCEA’s membership a special event akin to those that have taken place at recent annual conferences. HGSCEA member Adrian Sudhalter and MoMA curator Jodi Hauptman have generously offered to host a remote curator’s tour through their exhibition “Engineer, Agitator, Constructor: The Artist Reinvented, 1918–1939,” currently on view at MoMA. The exhibition traverses much of HGSCEA’s geographic terrain and numerous HGSCEA members contributed to the catalogue. The succinct virtual tour through the galleries, will leave plenty of time for questions and discussion. The event is scheduled to take place on Friday, March 5, starting at 7 p.m. (US, EST). Mark your calendars! More details on how to participate will be announced soon.

That’s all there is to report for now. I already miss the annual dinner, and the pleasure of seeing so many friends! I look forward to 2022 in the hope that we can once again enjoy together a delicious meal, good wine, and great company.

Until then, stay well and be safe!

Wishing you all the best,

Jim van Dyke

HGSCEA Session at CAA 2021

Between Point Zero and the Iron Curtain: International Cooperation in Art, 1945-1948

Chair Eva Forgacs Art Center College of Design

The period between 1945-1948 was one of great hopes and initiatives to culturally reunite the war-torn European continent and the world. The 1945 Yalta Conference issued the Declaration of Liberated Europe promising the European nations “to create democratic institutions of their own choice,” while Stalin would increase Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and by 1949, an ‘iron curtain’ would descend, cutting the region off from the Western half of the continent and the world, placing it under Soviet rule. After the war, many artists in Europe pursued a new, united, internationally open European art and culture. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles in Paris, the “European School” in Budapest, worked on reestablishing continuity with interwar modernism as well as supporting nascent postwar art. The international CoBrA group was one of the first to reach out to such Eastern European artists as the Czech “Ra” group, hoping to develop further contacts. Papers discussing the apparently wide open possibilities of the post-World War II period internationally, or within the boundaries of any one country, are invited to discuss this chapter of art history, when the recovery of pre-World War II modernism and the fostering a new internationalism was a worldwide effort, anticipating the global, international culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

Send paper proposals by August 17, 2020. For instructions see: https://caa.confex.com/caa/2021/cfp.cgi; contact Eva Forgacs (Art Center College of Design, Pasadena) at: eva.forgacs.ac@gmail.com